Recently orphaned, Ruth Fielding goes to live with her Uncle Jabez in New York. Jabez and his housekeeper receive Ruth very coldly and seem to care very little for her, saying only that she must "earn her keep" -- and they grow even more distant after the cash box disappears during a flood!
e train. Panting, with its huge springs squeaking, the locomotive started the string of cars. Faster and faster the train moved, and before Ruth reached the pent-house roof of the little brick station, the tail-lights of the last car had passed her.
A short, bullet-headed old man, with close-cropped, whitish-yellow hair, atop of which was a boy's baseball cap, his face smoothly shaven and deeply lined, and the stain of tobacco at either corner of his mouth, was standing on the platform. He was not a nice looking old man at all, he was dressed in shabby and patched garments, and his little eyes seemed so sly that they were even trying to hide from each other on either side of a hawksbill nose.
He began to eye Ruth curiously as the girl approached, and she, seeing that he was the only person who gave her any attention, jumped to the conclusion that this was Uncle Jabez. The thought shocked her. She instinctively feared and disliked this queer looking old man. The lump in her throat that would not